I’m pretty excited that Crafty Volunteers went live on Facebook on Monday. Already I’ve had loads of my friends share and promote the page, and quite a number of new people have connected with not only the page, but with me directly, which has been fantastic.
As I’m starting to talk to people about this project, I’m getting loads of ideas as to how we can really make a difference. While things are in their embryo stage, I’m still in info gathering mode, therefore please keep giving me your feedback, and sharing your thoughts.
My understanding is that there are quite a number of people who are happy to make items, but they don’t know which organisations want stuff, or how to contact them. Some people are willing and able to make items, but are housebound therefore they can’t get the materials required and can’t deliver the finished product. Some people don’t have the financial resources to buy the materials, but have the time and ability to make items – while others have stockpiles of yarn and fabric, that could be made available and put to good use.
And then what about the organisations… How do they contact people that can make things for them? What stock to they need, and what have they got too much of? Remember they rely on volunteers, and often don’t like to ask. Some organisations may be able to help with providing the materials required, thereby alleviating the financial burden for some crafters. Most of us know of the larger, formal charitable organisations, but not much is known about the smaller, localised groups that are doing great work for their communities.
The initial thinking, about how Crafty Volunteers might work is (and remember this is a bit of a brain dump…) –
Firstly – finding people in each region that will coordinate the communication between organisations and crafters. This could be one individual, or a small group/committee type arrangement – perhaps people that are already contributing to their favourite cause.
Second – connecting with the organisations around the region, so they know who to contact, and finding out what they need. Some organisations might not know what they need, as they’ve never thought about their requirements from this perspective. It may be that you come up with a product that could really help them in their work.
Third – avidly promoting Crafty Volunteers to create a wonderful network of people that will help in our special way. This could be done in a very informal/fluid manner, or could be a little more structured by having a meeting or get together once a month.
Finally – keeping connected with other regions via a central communication portal for the coordinators. This would share info about what you’re making for which organisation, how you’re attracting new crafters, how you’re getting donations of materials. Some regions may be making a product that other regions don’t know about, therefore info sharing could enable the groups to expand their range of products and organisations that they support.
As I said, that’s just really a brain dump, and a starting point. I’ll be doing what I can to ensure this concept works in my home city, and I’d love to meet and support other people in other regions to do the same. Then, who knows, we could go global – wouldn’t that be amazing!
Over the next few days I’m going to delve in further and ask you some questions – I’d like to find out what you and your friends are making; which organisations you’re contributing to; and how it’s being coordinated.
In the mean time, please continue to make contact (via the blog, or the Facebook page) and let me know what you’re making for which organisation, where you’re from, and if you’d like to coordinate a group in your area.
Yours – with love, compassion and hope